Sunday, January 1, 2023

Best of 2022

(That's the best dance  number of the year)

I had some great things happen this year.

I got to meet one of my favorite actors of all time Hiroshi Abe.

I met director Shinji Higuchi who did Shin Ultraman and Shin Godzilla.

I met one of my favorite directors Marq Evans in person and his son and we got to talk vampire movies and NOSFERATU in particular.

And I got to interview another of my favorites Signe Bauman while sitting in a graveyard. It was  rescheduled interview that went way better than it would have had we not had to reschedule (this is one of my most favorite interviews I’ve ever done and one of the reasons I love Ms Bauman)


Bill Nighy in LIVING is magnificent and the reason to see the film

S. S. Rajamouli director of RRR showing Hollywood how to make a movie and creating one of the greatest dance numbers ever put on film (see above).

The swarm sequence in UNTIL BRANCHES BEND, a sequence so amazing you will wonder how they did it

The 19 minute single take in RMN transcends fiction and will convince you the film is a documentary

Moments in del Torro's Pinocchio will reduce you to tears when you are screaming in terror


TANTURA- the official history says nothing happened ... but stories say otherwise- As a historian I'm horrified how good people bury their past.

STRANGER THAN ROTTERDAM- A funny true story about what it took to get Stranger Than Paradise made

1946 THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED A CULTURE is possibly the most important film of the decade or perhaps more. Its a crushing look at how the inability to translate a few words has caused death and destruction on a grand scale as being gay was wrongly made a blight in god's eye

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught)- a life time of wisdom in 10 minutes

BRIAN AND CHARLES-a man builds a friend and gains the world

POPPY- a 97 minute smile as a young woman with Down’s Syndrome proves she is a force to in her own right

FIRE OF LOVE- The year’s best love story is also about volcanos.

FREEBIRD - I dare you not to cry during this look at the arc of a life a man with Downs Syndrome

REACHER- I don't watch series but an  8 hour killer thriller makes me say I want more

MAMA HAS A MOUSTACHE- children talk about their parents with love

FRANK AND EMMET one of the absolute best films of the year is about a friend saying goodbye. It will crush you

THIS MUCH I KNOW TO BE TRUE- Nick Cave in performance is a religious experience

 GETTING IT BACK: THE STORY OF CYMANDE the story of one of the most influential rock groups you never heard of but whose work you know.

FAVORITE DAUGHTER A magic story about mothers and a daughters.

CHILDREN OF THE MIST- a moving look at an out dated practice of getting a bride which answers the question should a filmmaker ever get involved. Yes, yes they should.

ONDONA-10,000 NIGHTS The story of a soldier who refused to come home for decades after the war ended.

VENGEANCE IS MINE ALL OTHERS PAY CASH-comedy action romance craziness of the best sort

OMOIYARI: A SONG FILM BY KISHI BASHI is an unexpected film that's part concert, part autobiography, part examination of the Japanese internment during WW2. Its all magic.

TROLL – who knew Norway could make a wicked giant monster film?

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON this deeply moving film about a shell and his grandmother will cause the kids to laugh and the parents to sob. A joy

THE LETTERMEN the true story of two men in love during the Second World War told via letters.

STRANGER AT THE GATE what happens when hate meets love? This is the moving story of a man who wanted to commit a massacre who was changed by meeting the people he was going to kill

TURN EVERY PAGE the story of Robert Caro and his editor as they work to finish one last book.

THE FORE-MEN- time traveling Science Fiction film that will leave you wanting more (a feature is coming)

INU-OH perhaps the best animated film of the year tells a story we haven’t see before in a way that makes us marvel.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY- the best backing band in the world tells the stories of their hits. Guaranteed to make you sing along

ENNIO seeing this bio of Ennio Morricone on the big screen was one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced in a theater

CASA SUSANNA is a moving film about some trans women trying to find a place to be safe.

GARY MULE DEER: SHOW BUSINESS IS MY LIFE, I JUST CAN'T PROVE IT one of the funniest  men I’ve run across tells his story and tells jokes in the the year's best comedy

RETURN TO SEOUL – a gloriously unexpected film about a young woman trying to find her past and future.

The 'VOUS a glorious look at a BBQ place and the people who make it the place to be.

ALL THAT BREATHES a beautiful about men and birds

GOD DAMNED ASURA troubling drama about a crime and how it effects a number of people. It would rock your world

PRETTY PICKLE is a film that is wrong on so many levels

THE ROUND UP truly great action film kicks ass and takes names. If you need something until John Wick comes out do I have a film for you

MATTER OF TRUST a multi story drama about the levels of trust in our lives. It will haunt you for days

HEAVEN TO THE LAND OF HAPPINESS the greatest Choi Min Sik performance in a film about not wasting our time on earth

CAVE OF ADALLUM moving film about one man trying to change the world one person at a time

STORY OF BONES What do you do when the bones of slaves are in the way of progress? It’s a film about how the past affects the present

OUR FATHER THE DEVIL Chilling thriller was an unexpected discovery at Tribeca. Anyone who saw it was scarred by it and could stop talking about it

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH MARRIAGE Signe Bauman’s jaw dropping animated Broadway-esque musical. This isn’t an its medium but something transcendently alive. I wanted to stand and applaud when I saw it.

HALLELUJAH the story of Leonard Cohen’s song is glorious

NICHOLAS BROTHERS STORMY WEATHER we may never see the like of the Nicholas Brothers again but damn some people are gonna try.

HAULOUT late addition to this list is the tale of how the melting ice is dooming the walrus. Visually one of the greatest films I've seem in decades, its proof that the Academy and other awards groups are shorting the work of those making shorts, documentaries and short documentaries when it comes to cinematography

The most haunting image of 2022

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